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AIIMS develops anti-gravity body suit for space yoga

AIIMS develops anti-gravity body suit for space yoga
Photo Credit: Pixabay
21 Jun, 2022
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While India all set to celebrate International Yoga Day on 21 June, experts at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS-Delhi) have developed an anti-gravity body suit that will allow astronauts to perform yoga in space. The anti-gravity gear will help astronauts to strengthen their antigravity muscles and prevent loss of bone density minerals.

AIIMS have claimed that it is India’s first body gear for astronauts that will increase their weight by more than 70% in space and will prevent them from floating. The claim has been validated by the National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar.

AIIMS along with its counterparts at NIT Jalandhar---Vishwajeet and Dilbag Singh have been working on the yoga space suit for the last few years. They have now presented the proof of concept to ISRO for its usage.

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“For the last few years, we have been pursuing space physiology in a vigorous way. We have indigenously developed novel body gear for astronauts to perform yoga in space in collaboration with NIT, Jalander. An enabling environment has to be created in the spaceship to do yoga. Once astronauts wear this anti-gravity body wear, it will keep them on the ground with the help of Velcro and magnet and prevent them from floating. And then, they can easily perform yoga and exercise in spaceship,” Prof KK Deepak, head of department of physiology at AIIMS told Mint.

“The space journey of astronauts adversely affects the functioning of muscle and bones. The anti-gravity gear will help astronauts to strengthen antigravity musculature and will also prevent atrophy (a health condition in which size of body part decreases) and strengthen antigravity musculature in microgravity environment,” said Prof Deepak added.

Space physiology is one of the emerging needs for India in the field of space sciences and technology development. Yoga is an evidence based easy self-help to curb the harmful effects of microgravity.

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As per literature, Russia and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed the body suits for their astronauts.

The theme for International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2022 is “Yoga for Humanity”. Celebrations will be held across the world in a grand manner completely embedding it with the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) celebrations. According to the union government, the core purpose of IDY is to create mass awareness regarding the Health Benefits of Yoga for the people. Over the years, IDY has become a mass movement for health.

On the occasion of International Yoga Day 2022, AIIMS will present around 90 research papers on Yoga published so far. Experts said that performing yoga postures not only strengthen physical wellbeing but it also enhances mental awareness too.

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“Yoga has eight different limbs such as pranayama (breath control), asana (yoga postures), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) etc. Also, our body is made up of five elements- space, air, earth, fire and water. We have to nourish the space elements and for this we need perform some pranayama and asana, meditation. So, when astronauts are in space, they need to be conscious and aware of their surroundings. Not only Yoga will help in building bone density but it will also make them mindful on how to deal with the odd situation,” said Dr Amrit Raj, Yogacharya and Director, Arogyadham, Rishikesh.